Plants perennial. Stems (15-)35-80 cm, unbranched, with deciduous pilose hairs, subglabrous basally, striate in grooves. Petiole to 15 cm; leaf blade cordate-ovate to hastate-ovate, 6.5-9 × 5.5-9 cm, adaxially sparsely pilose, densely so on veins, abaxially subglabrous or pilose along veins, densely dark purple glandular, base cordate to hastate, margin double crenate-dentate, mucronate, apex acute. Verticillasters 3-6-flowered, in racemes 16-18 cm; rachis densely brown villous; bracts subcircular to ovate, margin ciliate. Pedicel 4-7 mm, densely brown villous. Calyx campanulate, dark purple to purplish when dry, 1.7-2 cm abaxially, 2-2.2 cm adaxially, villous on veins, glandular, glabrous inside; upper lip broadly oblate, ca. 6 × 13 mm; lower lip longer than upper, 2 teeth broadly triangular, ca. 5 mm, margin ciliate, apex acuminate; fruiting calyx dilated, membranous. Corolla dark purple, 4.5-5 cm, pendulous, subglabrous or pilose, finely pilose annulate inside; tube 3.5-6 cm, ca. 4 mm wide, abruptly dilated adaxially, to 1.3 cm wide at throat; upper lip straight, oblong, ca. 9 mm; middle lobe of lower lip subcircular, margin slightly crenulate; lateral lobes semicircular. Filaments ca. 9 mm; connectives semicircular, arms subequal. Style slightly exserted.
Not to be confused with Salvia dolichantha (Cory) Whitehouse, an illegitimate name applied to Salvia whitehousei.
Salvia dolichantha is a herbaceous perennial native to Sichuan province in China, growing at 3,700 m (12,100 ft) elevation. It grows up to 80 cm (31 in) high, with purple flowers that are approximately 5 cm (2.0 in) long. The leaves are cordate-ovate to hastate-ovate, 6.5 to 9 cm (2.6 to 3.5 in) long and 5.5 to 9 cm (2.2 to 3.5 in) wide.
Salvia whitehousei was originally described as "Salviastrum dolichanthum Cory" in 1930 by Victor Louis Cory. When the genus Salviastrum was merged into Salvia in 1949 by Eula Whitehouse, it became "Salvia dolichantha (Cory) Whitehouse". In 1988, because there was already a Salvia species from China named "Salvia dolichantha" (1934), Gabriel Alziar renamed the plant to the current Salvia whitehousei, in honor of Eula Whitehouse.